To Gold? or NOT to Gold (mouthpiece plating)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by zotpatrolmom, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. zotpatrolmom

    zotpatrolmom New Friend

    Dec 12, 2008
    Hi all! My 17 year-old son lost his Schilke 14A4a silverplated mouthpiece, and is trying to convince me to get him one that has a gold plated cup.

    I Found One -- but I'm just not sure whether there are actual benefits <<other than status quo>> for a 17 year old.

    Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated...
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    G'day ZPM.

    I started with silver-plated Benge MPCs and once had an opportunity to play a mate's spare gold-plated 'something' MPC - now I believe in magic.

    Look, what worked for me may not work the same for your son, but this is how I see it - when I gold-plated my mouthpiece the effect was to give a warmer feel to the metal (rather than the cold crisp feel of silverplate). In addition, the gold plate seems to provide less friction and my lips slide over the surface without the minute sticking sensation (geez this is hard to explain) - almost as if the surface had a light spray of cooking spray on it, not enough to feel greasy but just enough to I have since had #1 son's (21 y.o.) tuba mouthpiece, #2 son's (17 y.o.) trombone mouthpiece, my spare trmpet MPCs and the Denis Wick MPC on my Eb Tenor Horn done too - I'm sold. More recently I purchased a Monette B6 for my Getzen and am thrilled to have it in gold-plate (I don't think you have a choice with a Monette BTW).

    OK - for me the transition was definitely very very positive and I would highly recommend such a change - be warned though, others may have different (and equally valid) views. See if you can get to a music store and try his current mouthpiece in gold-plate - any music store is usually happy to let you play like this - take some anti-septic wipes along and your sons trumpet, let him play before you pay - I bet he likes gold-plating though.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Gold is a softer metal than silver so it will wear a little faster , some use gold plated mouthpieces because of an allergic reaction to silver others for the look.
  4. BrassOnLine

    BrassOnLine Piano User

    Nov 22, 2007
    Gold plating is VERY THIN, and use to be more for allergics rather than other reason.
    That's why silver plated trumpets sound different than gold plated if you got ears enough.
    Not any remarkable benefit in mouthpieces.
  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    As I said ZPM - there WILL be different points of view. None of the mouthpieces that I have either purchased already gold-plated, or that I have had commercially plated, show any signs of wear even with daily use over a number of years. My MPCs are treated as gently as my instruments and if they are not in the receiver they are in their MPC cases. For me, gold-plating feels and tastes different to silver-plate, which I think was the intent of your question (I'm apparently not good at staying focussed on the question).
  6. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

    Oct 25, 2005
    Sunny Ca.
    Why is it when I think of a 17 year old with a 14A4A my ears start hurting? :-?
  7. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    If your son has a private instructor he is the one that you should ask. If he doesn't have one... buy the silver mouthpiece and spend the extra money on lessons. One lesson with a professional will bring much longer lasting results than changing metal types.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I would have no problem with gold. It is softer, the surface gets "microscratches" and seems to be smoother on the chops. Some say because the scratches hold moisture.

    The fact that it is slicker means that the embouchure muscles have to do their job. There is no additional "support" in the form of the grip of the silver.

    As far as the 14A4A goes, that is a mouthpiece that is best when playing lead in a jazz band or elsewhere when a very bright, cutting tone is required. I consider it to be a specialty mouthpiece and can only recommend it for the type of playing mentioned. If your son wants to study trumpet, the professor may not be in agreement with that choice - UNLESS a jazz career is in sight.
  9. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I played silver mouthpieces for about 11 years. I then bought a Monette mouthpiece and really loved the feel of the gold.
    When I switched to my current mouthpiece (the Wedge) I got the cup gold plated, and now I can't see myself going back to silver. It does feel different. What feels different I don't know, but it is more comfortable. (I switched from the Monette mouthpiece because the one I bought was far too large for me and I can't afford to try out as many as I can until I find the right one)
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I've played gold plated mpcs for 25 years. I first got them for the status (I was young). Then I discovered that the rim did feel smoother, slicker which I liked. I don't like the feel of gripping the mpc. I didn't change the sound for me.

    Is the 14A4A his only mpc? If so, he really needs to get a mpc with a standard C cup for general all around playing. schilke makes a 14C4 that would feel the same. the 14A4A is too shallow for all around playing.

Share This Page